The Syonan Gallery at the former Old Ford Factory museum, which houses a collection of World War 2 artifacts of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore, will be renamed because of the “deep feelings” expressed by Singaporeans, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

He posted this announcement on his Facebook yesterday.

The change of name comes after a multitude of Singaporeans slammed the name for being insensitive to the survivors and memory of World War 2 Singapore.

Prime Minister said that the name “Syonan” was originally thought to evoke the “dark and traumatic period in Singapore’s history.”

Read his post here.

“Many Singaporeans have spoken up in recent days about the exhibition at the Former Ford Factory.

We initially called it “Syonan Gallery: War and its Legacies”. The name “Syonan” was meant to evoke that dark and traumatic period in Singapore’s history.

But quite a few felt that the name itself, used like this, caused them pain. Many Singaporeans of all races suffered terrible atrocities during the Japanese Occupation, or had family members who did.

My colleagues and I honour and respect these deep feelings. So we have renamed the exhibition to bear witness to these painful memories.

Thank you all who shared your thoughts and views. Such conversations bring us closer together.

I hope that Singaporeans will go and see the exhibition. We must never forget the events that so profoundly impacted our lives and shaped our society. – LHL”

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